(Here’s my follow up post for move in your strengths- integrate your passions into mommy hood. While I spent one day, reading for ten minutes while Asher played outside (interrupted by supervising him of course) I needed to find a way to make the time go by quicker (in a good way) for our outside time together. Let this post act as a snap-shot into what it looked like for us).
I’m not a huge fan of standing outside and watching my kiddo play in our back yard.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being outside. It’s just that after a while it gets kind of boring merely supervising him. I usually try to engage with him, but he ends up wandering away, doing boy stuff, like getting dirty…
So a couple of times this week I moved in my strengths and we did a little painting together. Both times we went out shortly after I put baby number two down for a nap, so we could have a 45 min-1 hour-long window.
Tip: Both times I covered Asher using an old t-shirt as an apron.
We did our “masterpieces” in the backyard to keep the mess out there and not inside. It was so much fun! I honestly believe kids make the best abstract art, not to mention hold amazing levels of creativity!
I got him involved by using twigs, leafs, his hands, bark, and whatever else he wanted to use; no rules, no limits, I just wanted to see how interesting he could make the texture on the canvases.
The time didn’t matter to me because it was so much fun, unlike when I’m merely supervising and become a clock-watcher.
At first I was tempted to jump online and look up a Pinterest craft to do, but I decided against it. Honestly, I think I like the idea of crafts more than actually doing them.
Instead I grabbed a couple of old painted-on canvases that I didn’t particularly care for and marched outside with a passion for painting and a Smasher at my side.* I stuck to craft and tempera paint instead of acrylic to keep it kid friendly and toxic free.
Day 1: We collaborated on both. I added the bark to the bright multi-colored canvas but he did most of the painting using everything but a brush. He pointed to where he wanted the color, and what color, and I squirted it on the canvas. He smashed away.
For the white canvas I decided to add a instagram photo to it.
Day 2: I didn’t care for the brightness of the multi-colored piece, and I tried to make it better by varnishing it. It didn’t work. So I had him put some white tempera paint over it. I think the white layer calms the brightness down nicely.
While we had the white paint handy, I had him make hand prints on some blank, dotted, embossed cards. Don’t you love how imperfect they are?
On the days I fought against moving in my strengths (let’s be honest, old habits die hard) I found trying to plow through my to-do list usually seemed more counter-productive than productive. At least with Asher being at his age, and as busy as he is, cleaning house while he’s awake doesn’t exactly happen.
I’m just floored at how much more fun this mom thing is when I integrate my passions with him. It engages both of us, and in the case of painting we have the bonus benefit of personalized and affordable art that looks awesome and holds fond memories.
For those who joined in on the challenge, how has it been going?
*Smasher is our son Asher’s nickname.